Network gateway leads product trio debut

01/05/2006


Networks & Communication

GATEway is a configurable, stand-alone intelligent gateway that allows plant-floor devices to communicate and to interoperate simultaneously through EtherNet/IP, Ethernet TCP/IP, serial, and Profibus networks.

Woodhead Industries Inc . announced the availability of three new products:

GATEway reportedly facilitates EtherNet/IP and DF1 messaging from Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley devices. GATEway is a configurable stand-alone intelligent gateway that reportedly allows plant-floor devices to communicate and interoperate simultaneously through: EtherNet/IP, Ethernet TCP/IP, serial, and Profibus networks. GATEway performs all communication tasks to exchange data between devices by running automatic read/write cyclic functions. By running 20 different protocols simultaneously, the GATEway allows users to setup over 20,000 different combinations in creating industrial architectures such as a data translator, data concentrator, and an industrial firewall.

A complementary product, webGATE is customizable Web gateway that provides lo-cal or remote access to industrial devices. Client application can be situated anywhere so long as it supports a standard Web browser. An integral flash disk allows development and storage of personalized Web pages for simple and secure HMI applications.

Direct-Link 3.3V/5V-PCI network-interface card is now EtherNet/IP conformance-tested in compliance with ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendors Association) specifications. The company says that it is the first "intelligent Ethernet PCI interface card" on the mar-ket. Designed to provide high-speed communication, it connects a computer's PCI bus to an EtherNet/IP industrial network as a scanner or adapter device. The card has been adopted by robotic manufacturers for control applications in sectors including automo-biles, pet packaging, and conveyors.

Typical uses include:

  • Real-time computer control (IO implicit and explicit messaging);

  • Supervisory and HMI interface;

  • Bridging disparate networks, allowing information exchange between net-works (EtherNet/IP to Serial, Ethernet TCP and various fieldbuses); and

  • Enabling transmission of plant-floor data to office environments.

Direct-Link is compatible with both Microsoft Windows 32-bit and real-time operat-ing systems such as VxWorks, QNX, and Linux. Its included software tools-configuration, diagnostic, development libraries, and data servers-ease installation. It is also compatible with EtherNet/IP devices using modular EDS, such as Rockwell POINT I/O and Flex I/O. The interface card also supports DHCP, BOOTP, and DNS Ethernet Services.

NetMeter reportedly allows untrained personnel to certify, diagnose and troubleshoot DeviceNet quickly and without risk. Completely passive, it analyzes the signal and power lines on the DeviceNet network. In seconds, network-wide and device-specific traffic, signal voltage, and power quality information is captured and displayed on a user inter-face that can be shown to skilled technicians if need be. Its expert mode allows compari-son of 677 key parameters against DeviceNet specifications.

— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering
richard.phelps@reedbusiness.com





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